Novak Djokovic: 5 Reasons Djokovic Has No Shot to Win Another 2012 Grand Slam
Novak Djokovic is quickly racking up quite the list of accomplishments. In the last three years, the 25-year-old has been dominant, winning 41 and 43 consecutive matches, respectively, picking up a record five Masters titles in 2011, and receiving the honor of the number one ranking in the tennis world.
Despite his recent successes, here are five reasons why Djokovic will not win another 2012 Grand Slam.
Nadal Is Hungry
Many have forgotten that Rafael Nadal is still at his prime. At only 25, he has showed sustained dominance that has been unmatched in the past five years with the lone exception being Novak Djokovic. The Spaniard is currently ranked second in the world and has been especially sharp of late, breezing through his first round match at the French Open.
From 2010-11, Nadal put together a streak very similar to the one Djokovic did in 2010 when he won each of the Grand Slam tournaments with the single exception of the Australian Open. Since that year, he has seen at least quarterfinals action in every Grand Slam tournament, including finals appearances in the last four.
Overconfidence Is Key
It happens in every sport.
In 2001, the New York Yankees were upset by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the World Series. The Dallas Mavericks took down the heavily-favored Miami Heat in the NBA Finals last year. The problem with these teams? Overconfidence.
No reasonable mind can argue that Djokovic is not at the top of his game. However, being at the top of one's game does not guarantee championships. The aforementioned Rafael Nadal is often favored as the one who can take down the 25-year-old Serbian, but too often it is the lesser known players that make a statement by taking down the best.
A player to keep an eye on is 27-year-old American John Isner who needs to find some urgency if he wants to make a run at the top spot in the rankings.
The French Open Is His Kryptonite
Although he has torn through most Grand Slam tournaments, Djokovic has been unable to even reach a final of the French Open. His intense style of play has not translated to the clay court well, something that cannot be said for Nadal.
The world number two has been the king of clay and is quite possibly the best player ever, in terms of playing on a clay surface. When Djokovic and Nadal go head-to-head on clay courts, Nadal holds an 11 to two edge over the world's best and will likely improve on that mark if the two meet at Roland-Garros again.
Injuries Are Taking a Toll on Djokovic
Last fall, news of a shoulder injury surfaced following a loss in the semifinals of the Swiss Indoors event. A report by CNN quoted the then-24-year-old as saying:
"My shoulder is very bad, we won't even talk about the third set. I have a lot of pain in my body from the competition this week. I hope I can be ready for Paris."
The injury resurfaced in late April, when he had to retire from a match against Andy Murray in Cincinnati because of intense shoulder pain. Any time a tennis player has a recurring injury in his dominant arm, it can spell doom.
The question facing Djokovic now is this: Can he be as dominant when he is not at his best?
Federer Is Not Quite Done
The 30-year-old Swiss national has somewhat faded from the spotlight in recent years since his ATP-record 237 week run atop the world rankings came to an end in 2008. Flying under the radar (at least in terms of the attention Djokovic and Nadal generate), Federer has shown he still has what it takes to win.
The rivalry of Federer and Djokovic is exceeded today only by that of Federer and Nadal. The two have met a total of 25 times with Federer holding a 14-11 advantage all-time against Djokovic. He has only won the French Open once but has reached the finals four other times, including four of the last five years.